Eagle-eyed parliamentarians probably noticed one key absence at Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s first State of the State address on Monday night.
The Republican lieutenant governor wasn’t there.
It wasn’t a political snub, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest’s spokesman said Tuesday; he just didn’t know the speech was Monday.
Forest has meetings with members of the Trump administration and Cabinet-level officials in Washington, D.C. this week, the spokesman said. Forest’s office wasn’t informed of the date of the State of the State address until last week, which was too late to change the schedule.
Forest called Cooper personally to let him know why he would be absent, the spokesman reported.
The lieutenant governor typically plays a role in the biennial event, formally welcoming the governor into the House chamber.
Forest is a potential challenger to Cooper in the 2020 election.